“Do not put child in bag”

IMG_2045 do not put child in bag   Seriously? “Do not put child in bag?”

This was on a deep mesh bag on the back of  two-seater child stroller that the mall loaned out to shoppers. It was obviously meant as a catch-all for parcels, purses and winter jackets. Put a child in the bag? You’ve got to wonder who necessitated a warning like this.

There are other examples of dumb warning labels on the internet.

“Warning: May contain nuts.” — On a package of peanuts.

“Do not eat.” — On a slip of paper in a stereo box, referring to the styrofoam packing.

“Remove occupants from the stroller before folding it.”

“Warning: May cause drowsiness.” — On a bottle of Nytol, a brand of sleeping pills.

“Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death.” — Stamped on the metal barrel of a .22 calibre rifle.

“Turn off motor before using this product.” — On the packaging for a chain saw file, used to sharpen the cutting teeth on the chain.

“Not dishwasher safe.” — On a remote control for a TV.

“Do not use if you cannot read safety label.” –On a bottle of pills -with a safety cap.

I spent many years trapped by a sense of not being good enough, of feeling it was my duty to serve an angry god who was perpetually disappointed with me. It seemed all I heard were warnings from people who presumed I was too dumb to figure out for myself that sin was not a good idea. I felt I was being labeled stupid and treated dishonourably by a lot of those warnings. I heard a lot of “shoulds” and not a lot of “hows.” There were an awful lot of rules, but not much peace or freedom.

This is what I have learned since then: God is good.

He loves us because of his character, not ours.

It is his kindness that leads us to change the way we think.

His grace is over-the-top and in no way can we earn it.

We are forgiven, but our relationship to God is fully restored when we respond to him and admit we have done things that required his forgiveness and we need to change. Change occurs when we get a better picture of who He is and who He created us to be.

Can I be honest and say sometimes I shake my head in wonder when people respond to this message of abundant grace with outrage and expressions of fear that this will offer those (who apparently do not rate highly in the area of common sense gifting) an excuse to sin?

“But they need warnings! How will they know that sinful behaviour is bad unless we tell them?”

Seriously?  Like they haven’t noticed that sin sets off consequences like a Rube Goldberg device that can play out for generations? Like being told that horrible punishment awaits them for messing up doesn’t chase people away from the only One who can clean them up?

Paul, the guy who hated people for not following religious rules so much that he tried to imprison and kill followers of Jesus had this to say after he was changed by an encounter with the real promised saviour -the One who loved him:

Now we find that the Law keeps slipping into the picture to point the vast extent of sin. Yet, though sin is shown to be wide and deep, thank God his grace is wider and deeper still!

The whole outlook changes—sin used to be the master of men and in the end handed them over to death:

now grace is the ruling factor,

with righteousness as its purpose and its end the bringing of men to the eternal life of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now what is our response to be? Shall we sin to our heart’s content and see how far we can exploit the grace of God? What a ghastly thought! We, who have died to sin—how could we live in sin a moment longer? (Romans 5:20, 21; 6:1,2 Phillips translation)

Put a child in a bag? Sharpen a chainsaw while it’s running? Play with a gun? Continue to sin and think that’s good for you -and everyone else in the world?

What a ghastly thought!

4 thoughts on ““Do not put child in bag”

  1. Thank you for persevering in turning our gaze back to His face. It’s easy to get caught up in the why’s and why not’s…….but that’s when we begin to focus on the waves about our feet.



    1. Someone pointed out to me that when Christ was asked questions like “who’s fault?” or “how much?” or “when should?” his answer was, “Me,” even when it was grammatically inconsistent. I think we are meant to take note of that.

      Me especially. I’ve been taking far too much notice of the waves lately.

      Bless you, TL. You have a beautiful heart.


  2. Pingback: Fences Around Fences | Charis: Subject to Change

  3. Pingback: Fences Around Fences | Charis: Subject to Change

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